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Press Release: NETWORK Calls for More Focus on Ecological Issues

FOR RELEASE: August 16, 2012                                                       

CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224, sniedringhaus@networklobby.org

Washington DC: NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, joins the Franciscan Action Network in calling on President Obama and Governor Romney to acknowledge that global climate change and other ecological devastation are critical moral issues. It is urgent that both candidates address actions to protect our fragile environment.

We are particularly concerned for the members of our communities who live at the margins, and are most vulnerable to environmental damage. Low-income fishing and shrimping communities are among the first to be displaced due to global warming. Poor and minority communities are the most frequent residents of areas with the highest levels of pollution, built on toxic waste dumps and with homes of using lead and asbestos.  Extractive industries send toxins and waste into streams, to the economic benefit of corporations while depriving people of the area of usable water.

As Catholics, we are called to care for God’s gift of creation and to protect the most vulnerable among us. Caught in a spiral of poverty and environmental degradation, the poor and the powerless bear a disproportionate burden of the effects of environmental problems, as their lands and neighborhoods are more likely to be polluted, to be near toxic waste dumps, or to suffer from water contamination.

USCCB, February 2012. Children’s Health and the Environment

Our leaders have a responsibility to protect all members of our communities, and the environment on which we all rely.